022, originally uploaded by downgreenparty.

Down Cllr Cadogan Enright has expressed concern over the high level of drinking in public areas of Downpatrick and is calling for stricter laws to be put in place to tackle this problem. Cadogan has called for the adapting of plans being introduced in England and Wales by the Labour Party.

Cllr Enright said, “The Youth Alcohol Action Plan has introduced a new offence for the persistent possession of alcohol by young people in public spaces. There is a serious, and very obvious problem, with drinking in public in Downpatrick and one of the side effects of this is the large amount of rubbish which gathers in the public spaces in the town. This is particularly evident in the Grove area between the Saint Patrick’s Centre, the Down railway and the Cathedral where empty bottles and cans are strewn across the grass and in the woods.”

“This area is situated between three popular tourist destinations and it is a bad reflection that people travelling from all over the world are being exposed to a negative impression of Downpatrick. If we want these people to return and to speak well of our area we must make it presentable. This is not just a youth problem, last week I watched two police officers walk past several alcoholics sitting in a heap and drinking outside the St Pats Centre in the middle of the Tourist Season. This is intolerable and damages the town.” Cllr Enright continued.

Cadogan Enright said, “Down District Council expends large amounts of ratepayers money cleaning this area daily and weekly, and the hard working members of the Council staff clear the rubbish away but it keeps returning. It is a waste of Council resources to continuously tidy up after those who are breaking the law in the first place. What we need is better enforcement against those who are creating the problem.”

Cllr Enright has said that he intends to raise the problem of public drinking and littering at the Down District Policing Partnership, of which he is an independent member. “Introducing the Youth Alcohol Plan in NI could go a long way to addressing the problems of underage drinking and drinking in public spaces” concluded Cllr Enright.

Press Cuttings: Tougher action on underage drinkers